I made this page for Rehtaeh Parsons. If you don’t know who she is, please take a look here. It is a troubling story, that involves rape, bullying, slut shaming and social media. And a lot of ‘he said, she said’ as it is for most sexual assault cases. I cannot fathom the horror of what she had to endure. I am angry that the culprits got so little in terms of punishment.
As a tribute to her, her mother has started painting stones with her name and sending them around the world. People are leaving them in public places Rehtaeh would have wanted to see had she lived. I plan on getting one and leaving it in Cape Town when we go there next month.
I feel that the stitching from another spread adds to the power of this figure, who emerged from my paints on the day the person taking the infamous picture got probation. There is a lot of ‘was it or not consentual sex’, ‘she was flirtatious so she deserved it’ talk and reporting going on. But, I’m sorry, if you are taking a picture of a boy doing a thumb’s up while he’s having sex with a girl from behind as she is vomitting out the window, there can be NO DOUBT in my mind that there is NO consent there whatsoever.
The police didn’t lay any charges at first. Anonymous got involved and then new information emerged and the boys were tried for child pornography and not rape. All of that is already hard enough to imagine. But I can’t believe how many people were more than happy to share that picture and to believe she was a slut and turned against her, even her friends. L’homme est un loup pour l’homme. Man is a wolf to man.